The Full Moon will light up the nightside of Earth on the night of Tuesday, July 16, to Wednesday, July 17. Here in the UK, astronomers expect the Moon to reach full illumination around 10.38pm BST (9.38pm UTC). When viewed from London, the Buck Moon will creep over the horizon around 9.06pm BST (8.36pm UTC), giving you plenty of time to see it. But there are a few more reasons why you will want to see tomorrow’s Full Moon.
Whys is the Full Moon called the Buck Moon?
The Buck Moon is traditionally the seventh Full Moon of the year in the month of July.
The Buck Moon is preceded by the June Strawberry Moon and is followed by the Full Corn Moon in August.
The naming tradition originates in Northern America and can be traced back to Native American tribes keeping track of time.
The Moon’s full phases were named after the changing seasons and the landscape.
The April Pink Moon, for instance, is named after a type of pink ground flower that springs at that time of year.
July Full Moon 2019: The Buck Moon peaks on the night of Tuesday, July 16
July Full Moon: The Buck Moon coincides with the Apollo 11 launch anniversary
The Strawberry Moon in June, on the other hand, appears around the time of ripening wild strawberries.
They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms
US space agency NASA explained: “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published ‘Indian’ names for the Full Moons in the 1930s.
“According to this almanac, as the Full Moon in July and the first Full Moon of Summer, the Algonquin tribes in what is now the Eastern USA called this Full Moon the Buck Moon.
“Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.
“They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms.”
Why is the Buck Moon so special this year?
There are two reasons why astronomy enthusiasts will want to stay up tomorrow night.
Firstly, a partial lunar eclipse will darken portions of the Moon over the nightside of the planet.
The eclipse will peak around 10.30pm BST (9.30pm UTC) when the Moon crosses the Earth’s umbra or darkest shadow.
Unfortunately, the eclipse will not be visible over North America but will instead unfold over Europe, Arica, the Middle East, Russia and Asia.
READ MORE: Is the American flag still on the Moon?
July Full Moon: A partial eclipse will darken portions of the Moon on July 16
July Full Moon: The Moon is known as the Buck Moon in some Native American traditions
The second reason why the Full Moon is special is that it falls on the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission.
On July 16, 1969, three American astronauts were launched from Florida on a historic journey to the Moon and back.
The three astronauts were Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin would become the first humans to land on the Moon just four days later on July 20.
What are all of the named Full Moons this year?
In total, 12 Full Moons will light up the skies this year:
January 21 – Wolf Moon
February 19 – Snow Moon
March 21 – Worm Moon
April 19 – Pink Moon
May 18 – Flower Moon
June 17 – Strawberry Moon
July 16 – Buck Moon
August 15 – Sturgeon Moon
September 14 – Full Corn Moon
October 13 – Hunter’s Moon
November 12– Beaver’s Moon
December 12 – Cold Moon